Mobile Clinics Can Help Alleviate Homelessness
Since it’s inception, America has been the land of opportunity. A place where people can go in search of greener pastures, freedom for their religious beliefs and just an overall better quality of life. However, for over half a million people, they are not experiencing that better quality of life. According to this paper by the Council of Economic Advisors, over half a million Americans go to bed every night homeless.
The paper released on whitehouse.gov shows that thirty five percent of those people are sleeping un-sheltered, meaning on our streets in places not intended for human habitation. Places such as sidewalks, parks, cars, or abandoned buildings. Meanwhile, over 350,000 sheltered homeless people are found in emergency shelters and transitional housing programs. Almost half (47 percent) of all un-sheltered homeless people in the United States are found in California. Los Angeles county alone has over 58,000 homeless people with nearly 3,000 of those living on Skid Row. For a place known for such an abundance of wealth, how does California have so many un-sheltered homeless? According to the research, many factors contribute to un-sheltered homeless in California such as the nicer weather making it less necessary to seek covered shelter. Other reasons being high cost of living and high cost of housing. The research showed that for every 1% that the housing cost increases, the rate of homelessness responds with an increase of 1% as well.
So how can we help these people? What can we do to lift them up from the streets, get them back on their feet and eventually back in their own homes and sharing their success stories? Although there are many theories and ideals, today we will focus on the ones that we here at the Aleph Group Inc. can help with and that is bringing care directly to the homeless. At AGI, we produce some of the highest quality mobile medical and dental units in the World. We have manufactured bloodmobiles, modular hospitals and emergency shelters as well as our world class mobile units for medical and dental purposes. So, how could this help the homeless?
Mehdi Mohammadi DDS ’12, is an assistant professor of clinical dentistry at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC and clinic director for the John Wesley Community Health center. He has been giving dental care to the homeless on Skid Row for almost 20 years now. He has seen first hand how dental care can transform the lives of the homeless. James Hartley, 54 has stated to USC News that “My whole life has changed, and the basis of that change was from the dental procedures I had done,” he said. “My self-esteem returned and I could smile. I could talk and was less of an introvert. It just helped me so tremendously.” He goes on to state that “my whole life has changed completely. Before I got sober, I was in a place where I physically could no longer drink, but I didn’t want to be sober. I didn’t want to be where I was, and I didn’t have any place I wanted to go. It was hopelessness. Today, I have a life. I have a full life.” James directly credits the dental care he received from Dr. Mohammadi as what gave him the confidence to change his life.
The Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC has 2 clinics they run near Skid Row for the homeless to receive dental care free of charge while helping their 4th year students get hands on experience in dental practice. It truly benefits everyone involved and works for such a small area with such a dense homeless population. However, what about other cities and counties that don’t have a “Skid Row” to place a clinic in the middle of? A great solution would be a mobile dental clinic that could drive around to where the homeless are. Instead of spending money on marketing materials such as flyers and pamphlets to attract the homeless to a location for dental treatment, organizations could go straight to the source. Setting up in parking lots near homeless camps can draw in the less fortunate that need the treatment.
Another dire need for homeless people is medical treatments. Every year, the South Los Angeles-based Islamic ILM (Intellect, Love and Mercy) Foundation organizes “Humanitarian Day” charitable events. Every year on Memorial Day weekend, they bring together groups to provide basic healthcare for homeless people in need. The annual event has grown beyond Skid Row and now involves hundreds of volunteers and the support of such organizations as UMMA Community Clinic, Claremont Lincoln University, and Orange County Islamic Foundation. Free health services are only offered at the Skid Row event on Sunday May 26, and include: dental screenings, cleanings and extractions; blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and hepatitis tests; glucose screening; and medical referrals. All the other locations offer gift bags with hygienic products and other necessities such as socks, pads of paper and more. This is another truly great blessing for those less fortunate around the Skid Row area and surrounding Los Angeles and Orange County areas, but what about those that are less fortunate and do not have the fortune of living in these areas?
A mobile Medical unit could bring medical care to the less fortunate in any area. Desolate areas such as low populated areas in South America, the Middle East or even Africa. It can bring aide to people suffering from Polio, to under privileged Americans who do not get adequate healthcare. It can even be a front-line weapon against the spread of a pandemic virus like Coronavirus.
There are many ways in which a mobile unit can benefit those less fortunate and in dire need of assistance. On of our clients commissioned us to build a mobile soup kitchen to help feed homeless in New York City. It’s ingenuity like this and coming together for a great cause that can help end homelessness in America and the rest of the world.
If you or your organization would like to learn more about our mobile or modular units, please email us at email@example.com We take the time to learn about your organization and it’s goals so that we can work together to achieve your goals for a better world for us all.